Marching on Walmart
Earlier on Thursday, miles away from the state Capitol, a group of single mothers marched in sub-zero temperatures to a Walmart store in Brooklyn Center. They called on the company to pay living wages to its employees and enact family-friendly policies to lift women and their children out of poverty.
Two out of three minimum wage workers are women, nearly four of 10 are women of color – and these women are disproportionately single mothers.
The demonstrators included Jacquita Berens, a single mother of three, who is a full-time student and works two full-time jobs. She is not a Walmart employee but has family and friends who work minimum wage jobs at the giant retailer.
On Wednesday, Target was in the spotlight for the low wages paid to the workers who clean its stores. Demonstrators marched through the downtown Minneapolis skyways and walked silently, fists raised, through the Nicollet Mall Target store.
“I am a single mother of five children trying to get by on the $8 an hour I am paid to clean a Target store,” said Maricela Flores. “It must be difficult for the CEO of Target, Gregg Steinhafel, to understand what it is like to be paid such low wages. In 2012 Mr. Steinheffel made over $9,900 an hour – he does not have to live the constant reality of choosing between paying rent, food, clothes, healthcare, etc.
“We are calling on Mr. Steinheffel to take the ‘Working America Minimum Wage Challenge’and live on $7.25 an hour for one week to understand what we face.”